What Are Security Systems Integrators and How Can They Secure Your Business for Success?

Today’s security systems integrator deploys a variety of evolving products and services to protect businesses, so it’s understandably hard to fully grasp their role. Even as the technology changes, integrators’ main objective remains the same: to seamlessly coordinate and link various security subsystems to counter ever-increasing physical and cyber threats. They do this by leveraging hardware, software, networks, hybrid IT solutions and specialized security equipment. Most have expertise installing and managing access control elements like gates, doors, locks; video surveillance systems; emergency notification systems, lighting; network security and more.

Why Is a Security Systems Integrator Essential?

Security is one of our most critical business needs. Physical security will always be an important barrier against enterprise theft, vandalism and violence. Cybersecurity continues to be top organizational concern as businesses face a persistent and growing cyber threat. According to Ponemon Institute, the average total cost of a data breach in the U.S. in 2020 registers at $8.64 million – yet typically only 15% of information assets are covered by insurance. It usually takes 280 days to identify and contain a data breach, and 52% are caused by malicious attacks. Think you should be thinking about cyber security? You’re absolutely right.

As the physical and cyber become even more enmeshed through the Internet of Things (IoT), everything from your building’s critical climate control system to its stored sensitive information is vulnerable to attack. Banks and their customers risk large scale heists like credential stuffing and cloud and phishing attacks; our hospitals can be hacked through ransomware to derail life-saving devices like ventilators and businesses in every industry face daily assaults on their mission-critical software.

There are more reasons to invest in security now. In the time of COVID, our healthcare has never been more important – or more subject to cybercriminals. And with so many company employees working from home, managing remote network security and device safety is becoming a logistical nightmare. With every connection comes new vulnerabilities. If you rely on email or web-based platforms like Zoom, Slack, or Google Meet, maintain important digital records – or use a network for your business processes, your physical and cyber security should be a top priority. Security systems integrators can help.

What Do Security Systems Integrators Solve?

Security systems integrators design, install and manage solutions to protect people, data and property. There are wide-ranging versions of what they specifically provide. For instance, some install “out of the box” solutions that are ready made and may meet your needs. Others provide additional services and can help oversee the full lifecycle of your security systems. These integrators can custom-design a security plan for you, and then install, implement, test, manage and maintain your systems. Integrators with a fuller breadth of services and expertise usually adhere to a specific process for creating and managing these systems:

  1. Assess your security needs with your input
  2. Devise a comprehensive and holistic security system to address these needs, informed by the use of your current system
  3. Install hardware, software, networks or other required equipment
  4. Custom build additional systems if needed
  5. Train the people that will manage the system at your company
  6. Provide continuous assessments, upgrades, maintenance and service

As you might imagine, engaging the services of a full-service systems integrator is the surest way to secure your business. Since they understand and deploy your systems from conception to completion, they are able to fully manage and take ownership – and have a strong incentive to provide superior service throughout. Partnering with one team gives you one point of contact and also discourages miscommunication and the finger pointing that often befalls cobbling together various vendors. Finally, a partnership ensures history and continuity throughout the lifecycle, so your integrator will also be very aware of and receptive to your company’s ongoing needs.

How Do I Find the Best Security Systems Integrator for My Needs?

Here are some important questions to ask potential partners:

  • Level of Expertise: Security threats are growing exponentially. Are they on top of the latest technology and cyber security strategies? Are they vendor agnostic so you don’t need to worry about them pushing specific brands, and you’ll know that they’ll keep your needs foremost in mind?
  • Level of Efficiency: With multiple systems comes the chance to increase efficiencies. Does your security systems integrator recommend linking lighting with access control so that when fewer access cards are swiped in one area of a building, the lights can be adjusted accordingly? Smart moves like this save significant money and energy.
  • Level of Service: As your company scales, will they be able to meet your needs?
  • Level of IT Smarts: Today’s security systems integrator must be well versed in the cyber as well as the physical security world. As the two converge, it’s essential to master coding, programming, troubleshooting and ongoing maintenance. With the IoT connecting more devices by the minute, vulnerabilities are also expanding crazily. Can your integrator handle these growing threats?
  • Culture: Will you work well together? Do your priorities line up? Are you comfortable working with them and do you like them?
  • Employee Trustworthiness: Which screenings do they use to ensure that their employees are secure?
  • Employee Certifications: Certifications show dedication to excellence.
  • Third-party Verified: Do they maintain the right certifications? SSAE16 and ISO-certified data centers help you achieve compliance for HIPAA, SOX, and PCI DSS.
  • Manufacturer Relationships: Integrators that enjoy strong partnerships have greater access and can fix issues quicker. Identify their partner status, certifications and direct access to manufacturers’ L3 engineers.
  • Datacenter Security: Is their datacenter as secure as possible? Do they use biometric authentication, deploy 24/7 in-person and video monitoring and keep accurate user records? Do they leverage full redundancy and disaster recovery systems?
  • Daily Relationship Approach: How will they work with you on a daily basis? Do they have a secure portal for your access to daily security updates, service level reports and troubleshooting requests, as well as easy-to-use communication hubs for feedback and as a repository for best practices?

Finding a security systems integrator is not hard. Finding the right one for you may take a little time, but your security is worth it. Lost downtime, disastrous data breaches and physical threats can destroy your business. On the flip side, you’ll see the ROI in saved data, continuous uptime and overall company credibility.

If you’re looking for a security systems integrator, we’d be happy to talk with you. With over 20 years under our belts, we deeply understand the convergence of IT and physical security and can provide you with the best security solutions available to secure a safe and successful future for your business.

The Importance of Data Protection During COVID-19

Adjusting to the new normal is a significant logistical undertaking that requires companies to take unprecedented steps to protect their people and property. It also creates new cybersecurity risks that threaten operational stability during an already disruptive time.

These threats are often invisible, but, when not addressed appropriately, can have devastating consequences. Not only are data breaches more expensive than ever before, but consumer sentiment and regulatory oversight have inextricably shifted toward data privacy and protection.

It’s important to understand the risks that accompany the new normal and provide access to adequate solutions.

Understand the Risks
Even before a hybrid workforce became the de-facto arrangement for many companies, cybersecurity and data privacy threats were already surging. 2019 was the worst year on record for data breaches, as billions of records were compromised, bringing severe financial consequences and reputational damage in their wake.

Unfortunately, bad actors are capitalizing on the uncertainty and vulnerability of this moment to wreak havoc on companies’ IT infrastructure. At the same time, remote workers are more vulnerable to many cybersecurity risks. To adjust to the new normal, businesses need to make real-time adjustments to their data security strategy.

During the pandemic, several threats have accelerated, including:

  • Phishing attacks. These malicious messages have increased in scale and effectiveness since businesses began quarantining in March. Hundreds of thousands of deceptive emails are sent each day, and some will undoubtedly make their way into your employees’ inboxes.
  • Credential stuffing. Bad actors use previously stolen information to log in to user accounts. This is especially problematic when employees work from unsecured connections.
  • Accidental data sharing and misuse. These vulnerabilities are magnified by a hybrid workforce with less accountability for digital behavior. Employees are more likely to use personal devices to access company data or transmit information in ways that compromise its integrity.

Overall, cybercrime has increased by 300% since the pandemic began, which helps explain why, despite shrinking budgets, many companies expect to increase spending on cybersecurity in the months and years ahead.

Making matters worse, remote workers are especially susceptible to fraud attempts and cybersecurity challenges, something that has only increased with the ancillary stress and unease the dominates during a pandemic.

Solutions that Work
Today’s companies need cybersecurity strategies that account for their remote and on-site workers. This includes:

  • Employee VPN Access. Remote workers may not use secure internet connections, potentially exposing your company to bad actors. VPN services allow employees to access company networks through secure protocols that protect your company and customer data.
  • Remote Security Management. While employees work remotely, physical office spaces still need to be secure. To this end, video, access control, intrusion detection, and intercom communication secure critical facilitates. When coupled with remote notifications, they provide peace-of-mind from any location.
  • Authentication & Encryption. Bad actors are continually looking for unsecured connections and other unencrypted data. This information is both easy to access and every easier to misuse.
  • Managed Detection & Response (MDR). For the many cybersecurity risks that threaten data security, managed detection and response capabilities ensure that you are always ready to respond.

Data threats are profound and expansive, but the right mix of cybersecurity solutions are available to ensure that your IT infrastructure is ready to meet the moment.

According to IBM’s annual Cost of a Data Breach Report, the average event will cost companies nearly $4 million, a substantial sum, especially during an already-challenging economic moment. At the same time, consumers continually indicate that they are ready to leave a company or platform if it endures a cybersecurity incident, making data protection a bottom-line issue for every business.

IST will evaluate your current environment, accounting for the emerging threats associated with a hybrid workforce, and we will provide solutions that ensure all employees can work cyber-secure. Our full lifecycle support through S.H.I.E.L.D allows you to get the most out of your cybersecurity budget by implementing proven steps to improve your defensive posture.

Don’t wait another day to update your defensive posture. Contact us today for a complimentary New Normal gap assessment and prepare your digital landscape for success.


Reducing Security Risks in 2020 and Beyond

Data breaches, accidents, natural disasters, workplace violence – what else could go wrong in your enterprise? Plenty. According to the 2019 Security 500 report, the Top 10 Security and Risk Trends includes:

  1. Workplace Violence and Active Shooter
  2. Cybersecurity
  3. Insider Threat
  4. Executive and Employee Travel
  5. Staffing and Training
  6. Business Continuity, Natural Disaster, Weather
  7. Budget
  8. Security Technology
  9. Theft
  10. Mental Health/Opioid Crisis

Is your organization doing enough to reduce these risks in 2020 and beyond? Where do you stand?

Integrated Security Technologies believes any change should be driven by a security technology strategy and philosophy. IST is a leading system integrator and developer working to ensure that security solutions meet or exceed an organization’s cybersecurity preparedness standards.

We recommend developing a security technology strategy and philosophy through integrated solutions that tie together video surveillance, analytics, access control, and alarm systems within the larger corporate information technology infrastructure.

Also, as our technology dependence and use increase, many organizations with digital transformation efforts struggle to find sufficient talent to address the growing complexity of security – cybersecurity in particular.

If your organization is seeking outside expertise to help address challenges and services, consider IST for your strategic security partner. We provide a variety of managed services that adapt to companies’ evolving needs. Let us help you usher in the new decade by implementing important security enhancements.

Are there Holes in Healthcare Cybersecurity?

Are there Holes in Healthcare Cybersecurity?

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

What draws ten times more money on the black market than personal information stolen from credit cards? Healthcare records. It’s no surprise then that 41% of cybersecurity breaches were targeted towards the healthcare industry last year. Broken down, the data shows that healthcare organizations suffered a disproportionate 32,000 attacks per day per organization. This is compared to 14,300 per day per organization sustained by other industries, and makes healthcare the most vulnerable industry, with five times more total breaches than other industries.

The healthcare industry is the second biggest industry in the U.S., and as its professionals try to enhance patient care and navigate changing regulatory landscapes, healthcare cybersecurity is often relegated to the back burner. What makes this situation particularly disturbing is that the healthcare industry has the most to lose from these types of attacks; in addition to the monetary losses, cyber attacks targeting medical devices can become a real matter of life and death.

This issue is further compounded by the fact that the average healthcare cybersecurity budget is only about half that of other industries, and employees may be motivated by money to share sensitive information. A recent Accenture study revealed that “18% of healthcare employees are willing to sell confidential data to unauthorized parties for as little as $500 to $1,000.”

What’s at Risk?

These attacks threaten patient’s identities and financial well-being – and they can also affect their health. In 2016, hackers targeted the large Maryland-based healthcare system, MedStar Health, with ransomware. MedStar had to shut off its email and patient record database. Even more ominous, it couldn’t provide radiation treatments to patients for several days, a potentially life threatening situation.

Criminals can access other IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) devices connected to a network, including medical lasers, X-ray and MRI machines, ventilators, pacemakers, electric wheelchairs and other critical equipment. Since these devices are comprised of various parts and software from a number of different companies that may not focus on security, they are especially at risk. Hackers can even target specific individuals, as was the case of former U.S. VP Dick Cheney, who received threats warning of an attack on his pacemaker. His doctors had to disable the device.

How Are Criminals Breaching the Networks?

Many hackers use emails to access healthcare networks:

  • Ransomware is delivered through emails, accesses other computers through the network and blocks access to data until the ransom is paid.
  • Malicious URLs also arrive through email and look as if they were sent by reputable companies. They either download malware or gather sensitive information when selected.
  • Malicious attachments can also come through email and look convincing. They can send malware or other macros that install viruses, record keystrokes or even provide remote access to computers and networks.
  • Business emails can be used for a type of targeted “spear-phishing” known as “whaling” to create emails that appear to have come from within the organization or another trusted sender. Hackers will send an email to someone with access to money or sensitive information posing as their boss or a higher-level colleague. They’ll prep with a personal email first (with information gleaned online) and then request an action with a sense of immediacy.
  • An internal threat can be intentionally malicious or just imprudent. An employee bent on doing wrong can wreak havoc by hacking into the network. Or, an innocent insider may mistakenly send sensitive information to the wrong person, fail to encrypt it, neglect to properly log out of an accessible computer or even browse an unprotected website.
  • According to the Sixth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy & Security of Healthcare Data, Ponemon Institute conducted in May 2016, 90% of healthcare organizations weathered a data breach in 2016 and only 50% were from a coordinated attack, so it can be safely surmised that many came from careless mistakes.

Smart Healthcare Cybersecurity Solutions

To counteract these threats, those in the healthcare industry can take several steps. By viewing every identity as they would a physical security perimeter, they can focus on validating every access request on every device, verifying the identify of every user and limiting access and privilege. On the network front, healthcare organizations must secure their networks and extend this to the cloud. Any sensitive information that is sent must also be encrypted. Additionally, organizations can implement machine learning to monitor user behavior patterns and spot anomalies that reveal hacker behavior.

Healthcare organizations must also move faster and provide more thorough software patches and updates. They can deploy threat intelligence and automation as well as offer critical cyber-awareness training to employees to help them manage email, social media and other entry points.

If you’re a healthcare professional and would like to learn about how to better secure your data, you can read more here.


6 Current Cyber Threats and How to Combat Them

6 Current Cyber Threats and How to Combat Them

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Cybersecurity continues to be a vexing concern for security professionals. As the industry focuses on cybersecurity awareness month this October, it’s an opportune time to get up to speed on the latest cyber threats as well as take measures now to combat them.

1. Cyber-Physical Security Vulnerabilities

These are some of the most critical current cyber threats, targeted towards infrastructure, power grids and transportation, including older ships, trains or planes that are especially vulnerable to cyber attacks. Whether the attacks wreak immediate destruction or try to extract ransomware for a “cure,” these threats are deadly and real.

Make sure that the critical software protecting your physical security is 100% up-to-date and monitored 24/7.

2. Big Data Breaches

Where there are large collections of people’s sensitive personal information, there will always be thieves attempting to snatch it. Data breaches have increasingly plagued companies with bigger and bigger exploits – and have exposed almost half of the U.S. population to the dangers of identity and other forms of theft. Just this week, Google+ revealed that they suffered a breach that affected approximately 500,000 users back in March. The social network is now shut down.

Companies that capture users’ web behavior may be especially at risk because these companies aren’t subject to the strict regulations that keep banks and other companies with sensitive information in line. Author of Future Crimes, Marc Goodman, says, “When one leaks, all hell will break loose.”

Avoid this issue and keep your website secure with the latest security tools and a team of experts.

3. Rampant Ransomware

Cybercriminals are more emboldened by their ransomware attacks, which are estimated to have ratcheted up about $5 billion in damages in 2017. While cities like DC and Atlanta have managed to thwart criminal efforts and get their systems up and running again without paying a ransom, many companies are forced to acquiesce to the hackers to get their valuable functionality back. Although backing information up on the cloud is a good solution, the cloud is not immune to ransomware attacks either. One of the most powerful malware strains, Petya, rocketed through people’s backups on Dropbox too.

Make sure to back up your data continuously to a safe place like an unconnected hard drive or a secure site in the cloud.

4. Cryptocurrency Pirating

Another way for hackers to gain access is through cryptojacking, or attacking hardware in order to mine cryptocurrency. Criminals create a script that resides within a vulnerable website, and unprotected computers then download the script. In addition to stealing money, criminals also steal valuable computer processing power, since the computers that house cryptocurrency are very powerful. This latest cyber threat fast approaches the popularity of ransomware, and makes hospitals, banks, airports, and other important entities vulnerable targets.

To counter this threat, invest in good anti-virus and anti-malware solutions and always keep your software up to date, as well as your browser.

5. Using AI for No Good

AI provides criminals with an effective tool to automate attacks and expand their coverage of targets. With software that easily mimics human writing, machines can continually spear phish prospective victims, directing targeted emails or alerts that trick people into downloading malware or sharing their important data. As these AI strategies become more sophisticated, they’ll also get better at tricking the “sandboxes” or security programs set up to deter them.

To protect your organization against these threats, education is key. Make sure to let all employees know what these emails look like, and always be cautious when opening an attachment from someone you don’t know.

6. Smart Phones Shipping with Issues

In recent years, hackers have started to program malware into phones before they even ship to the U.S. Since phones have become such rich repositories of our both our work and personal lives, this clever strategy capitalizes on a large amount of sensitive information. This year, the banking Trojan called Triada was embedded in dozens of low-cost Android phones.

If the malware wasn’t built in, hackers are making it easy to add to your phone. Malicious apps are everywhere. Last year, 700,000 “problematic” apps cropped up in the 3.5 million apps available through the Google Play Store. These apps could phish for information, steal information, intercept texts or even duplicate another app.

Be certain that you know what you’re downloading, and avoid buying cheaper phone models that you aren’t as familiar with.

Have You Secured Your Company Against These Threats?

Cyber threats are proliferating, but security professionals have the tools to thwart them. IST’s cybersecurity team deploys the latest solutions in this ongoing arms race against current cyber threats, both for the government and corporate sectors. Contact us here to learn more.

Should You Be Worried About Workplace Violence?

Part of a series for National Safety Month

Did you know that almost two million people were victims of workplace violence in the past year? That’s more than one in four workers each year, to the tune of over $121 billion in lost revenue. According to OSHA, homicide, the most drastic, is the third leading cause of workplace deaths in the U.S. These numbers are troubling, but when you recognize that many companies under-report non-fatal injuries and illnesses, they become even more so.

A recent Washington State study found that many incidents go unreported due to a lack of awareness by the company, a lack of communication within, or even a lack of incentive to report. Employees often don’t raise their hands because they don’t fully understand what constitutes violence or they fear retribution, and company executives are sometimes put off by the time-consuming Survey of Occupational Injury and Illness (SOII) reports they’d need to complete. So this begs the question:  How many more incidents actually occurred? Sadly, we don’t know.

Workplace violence can be defined in two ways. The first is more commonly recognized since it’s frequently covered by the media: A disgruntled customer or employee takes a firearm and shoots people at a place of work. In actuality, the more common transgressions fall under OSHA’s definition of “any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work sites. It ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide.” (Source: Workplace Violence Research Institute) 

Workplace Violence in Healthcare Settings:  Be Aware in Healthcare

After law enforcement, healthcare professionals are most at risk since they come into contact with a high volume of patients in unstable situations. In fact, they’re almost twice as likely as those in the private sector to be a victim of workplace violence (OSHA). Healthcare and social assistance professionals comprise 12% of our workforce, yet experience 75% of workplace violence incidents. Manufacturers and construction area workers also clock in higher than the U.S. average.

Here are some more facts:

  • A full 80% of EMS personnel have been maliciously attacked by patients.
  • Homicide is the second biggest threat to home healthcare professionals
  • Within the past year, 78% of ER physicians and 100% of ER nurses experienced violence at the hands of their patients
  • Between 2000 and 2011, American hospitals had 154 shootings

(Source:  Ravemobilesafety)

School Violence Prevention: Dangerous Lessons

The workplace that attracts the most media attention is schools. Aside from the terrifying rash of school shootings, faculty grapples with violence on a daily basis. Approximately 44% of teachers report being physically attacked at school each year. In fact, 80% of teachers recounted at least one experience in the current or past year, and 94% of these were perpetrated by students. Cost estimates to teachers, parents, and taxpayers come in at $2 billion annually.

How to Prevent Workplace Violence

So is your workplace at risk? OSHA identified these risk factors:

  • Do you have contact with the public?
  • Is there an exchange of money?
  • Do you deliver passengers, goods, or services?
  • Do you have a mobile workplace like a taxicab or police cruiser?
  • Do you work with unstable or volatile persons in health care, social services, or criminal justice settings?
  • Do you work alone or in small numbers?
  • Do you work late at night or during early morning hours?
  • Do you work in high-crime areas?
  • Do you guard valuable property or possessions?
  • Do you work in community-based settings?

Here are some OSHA-recommended deterrents:

  • Physical barriers like bullet-resistant enclosures or shields, pass-through windows, or deep service counters
  • Alarm systems, panic buttons, global positioning systems (GPS), and radios (“open mike switch”)
  • Convex mirrors, elevated vantage points, clear visibility of service and cash register areas
  • Bright and effective lighting
  • Adequate staffing
  • Arranging your furniture to prevent entrapment
  • Cash-handling controls, use of drop safes
  • Height markers on exit doors
  • Emergency procedures to use in case of robbery
  • Training in identifying hazardous situations and appropriate responses in emergencies
  • Video surveillance equipment, in-car surveillance cameras, and closed circuit TV
  • Establishing liaisons with local police

(Source: OSHA)

How Do We Fix This?

Education is critical when you’re deciding how to prevent workplace violence. If employees fully understand the OSHA definitions of workplace violence, they they’re more likely to recognize and report incidents. Employers have the responsibility to provide a safe environment, through prevention and through alerting the authorities. Every company should have an emergency action plan and be prepared to implement it with the help of local law enforcement. Employers must track and report incidents correctly and adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards workplace violence. For every dollar invested in preventing workplace violence, $3 or more is saved.

And finally, remember that even when you’re not working, you’re often visiting another’s workplace. So always be on the alert.

In our next post in this series, we’ll explore how to use technology to prevent incidents like these in hospitals and schools.

Last Chance to Join IST’s “Security of Security” Event

Last Chance to Join IST’s “Security of Security” Event

More than ever, there needs to be an organizational mindset that places importance on cybersecurity as much as physical security. Modern security systems are cyber-physical systems, inheriting both the power and pitfalls of the digital world.


With increased interconnectivity, there are more threat opportunities and surfaces of attack. It’s critical to comprehend all of what is necessary to defend against.


IST is always seeking out the best ways to keep your physical and cyber-world secured. That’s why we’re hosting our “Security of Security” event on May 1 (in Richmond, VA) and May 3 (in Herndon, VA).


Designed for end users, clients and customers, “Security of Security” will help you identify and mitigate risks and achieve cyber and physical security resilience. You will hear presentations from IST’s best-of-breed technology partners and industry experts, from Genetec and Bosch.



May 1, 2018 – Richmond, VA, 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Lunch will be provided)

May 3, 2018 – Herndon, VA, 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Lunch will be provided)



Customers, clients and end users who are:

  • Interested in next-generation security requirements and controls
  • Embarking on an upgrade or implementation of a security platform
  • Seeking solutions to support immediate requirements and evolve in the future


Get the knowledge you need to strengthen physical systems and add cyber safeguards. Reserve your spot for this complimentary event today!


IST’s “Security of Security” Event

Integrated Security Technologies’ Spring 2018 Education Series Presents our “Security of Security” Event

May 1 (Richmond, VA) and May 3 (Herndon, VA)

Security has been greatly influenced by the changes in our daily technology capabilities. In many ways, our interconnected world benefits the security industry—making our security systems smarter, more powerful, more cost-effective and easier to manage.


In other ways, our industry is becoming more vulnerable. We are faced with unprecedented threats to people, property and data.


As the security sector undergoes enormous evolutions, both innovations and exploitations will proliferate. Without the proper protection of critical assets, the size, scope and severity of security threats and attacks will likely increase over time.


Please join us for our Spring 2018 Education Series event this May with a focus on “Security of Security.” This event will show how to decrease system vulnerability and increase asset protection through technology advancements. You will hear presentations from Genetec and Bosch and have access to one-on-one discussions with industry leaders.



May 1, 2018 – Richmond, VA, 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Lunch will be provided)

May 3, 2018 – Herndon, VA, 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Lunch will be provided)



Clients, customers and end-users who are:

  • Interested in next-generation security requirements and controls
  • Embarking on an upgrade or implementation of a security platform
  • Seeking solutions to support immediate requirements and evolve in the future


There is limited space available for this complimentary event, so reserve your spot today.

Cybersecurity Risk Management Meets Physical Security

Cybersecurity Risk Management Meets Physical Security

A Closer Look at 2018 Trends: Who’s Responsible When Cybersecurity Risk Management Meets Physical Security?

Cyber threats reached an all-time high in 2017 according to Trend Micro’sTM 2017 Security Roundup. In this brave new world, cybersecurity and physical security are becoming synonymous.


Increasingly, industries ranging from nuclear power plants to self-driving cars are at the mercy of cyber attackers. Even our bodies are at risk since implanted medical devices like pacemakers, insulin pumps and brain implants are exposed to cyber attacks. The possibilities are frightening.


With this expanded threat comes bigger responsibilities across enterprises. Gone are the days when a silo like the IT department handled security for the entire firm. In fact, personnel from HR, to IT, to Procurement must be aware of the risks inherent in securing their physical and cyber-spaces – and be prepared to overcome them.


Our last post explored the changing role of security providers. Now we’ll delve into how physical security is changing to be increasingly cyber controlled – and how businesses are taking note.


Trend 9:  Cyber Security Risk Management is Essential for Physical Security


The word “ransomware” can strike fear into the most prepared businesses. Recently, Washington D.C.’s police department fended off a potentially devastating ransomware attack. Just prior to the Presidential Inauguration in January 2017, hackers hijacked 70 percent of the D.C. police’s department’s networked video recorders and stopped them from recording. Engineers were able to fix each video recorder on site without having to pay the ransom, but the results could have been debilitating.


Cyber risk abounds. In October 2017, the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) warned users to update their devices because the agency had uncovered vulnerability in any updated, protected Wi-Fi network that could potentially harm every connected device by releasing emails, chat histories and even credit card numbers. Code-named KRACK (Key Reinstallation AttaCK), this malware had the potential to destroy any connected business’ data.


Cyber Security Risk Management Best Practices:  How Can Security Providers Help?

How do we possibly prepare for doomsday scenarios like these? There are several important steps security providers can take. Most importantly, security providers must address network security by eliminating harmful traffic like denial of service attacks. They need to create systems that analyze possible deficiencies, seek out malware, assess security controls, design newer improved cyber safeguards, update protections and ensure that security stays top of mind for all stakeholders.


IST offers cyber security as a service to meet businesses’ growing need for cyber protection. We understand how one small breach can spell millions in lost revenue or even denigrate company’s name. We proactively work to eliminate these risks. You can trust IST to handle any of the new and still undiscovered cyber threats, as we work tirelessly to stay on top of them.


Trend 10:  Everyone’s Responsible for Risk Management


Every business and every person is at risk. With so many avenues for cyber destruction, attackers can wreak havoc via credit card theft, embezzlement, workplace violence, worker’s compensation fraud, compliance control and information or data loss.


To counteract these risks, companies need a comprehensive approach to risk management and planning. This means that the traditional Chief Security Officer and Chief Information Officer will be involved, but it also means that IT, HR and other employees (plus vendors and service providers) need to weigh in as well. The companies that can best blend cyber and physical security will provide the tightest security, and that requires pulling from many different departments.


Risk Management Best Practices:  How Can Security Providers Help?


With silos of security experts, it’s easy to see how critical security threats can fall through the cracks. With a coordinated effort like a dashboard, all security stakeholders can see and respond to potential issues in real time. Tools like social media, “dark web” criminal activity monitoring, arrest reports, court findings, as well as traditional sources of information need to be harnessed to build a full picture of the security landscape for a given company, both internally and externally.


Security providers are a member of this important team. It’s imperative to employ the most sophisticated security measures to counteract cyber threats, including ransomware and a potentially large cyber-attack. IST has helped numerous customers secure their networks to prevent these malicious attacks. We’re prepared to fight and eradicate any threat.


This post concludes our series about the top ten security trends to look for in 2018. There is unlimited potential in the coming months with the IoT’s connectivity and convenience. There is also an unlimited opportunity for security breaches. We continue to monitor these as well as any emerging trends that affect your business’ security. As a premier protector of people, property and data, IST is dedicated to your security. Contact us now to see how we can get you completely secure.


Security Providers’ Changing Role


Security Providers’ Changing Role

A Closer Look at 2018 Security Trends:  How are the Roles of Security Providers Changing?

One of the biggest trends in 2018 security is change. Nowhere is this more evident than in the market itself, where companies ranging from industries that wouldn’t ordinarily handle security, like Comcast and Amazon, to start-ups eager to cash in on a hot market, increasingly enter the residential security scene. They are shaking up the landscape and changing the services being offered as well as the revenue models that drive them.


We reviewed how mobile device security and the use of the cloud are both augmenting overall security in our last post. As we move forward into 2018, the changing role of security providers is a trend that will also strengthen the residential security industry.


Trend 7:  Security Providers Are Changing

There’s no typical security provider these days. Both IT-focused companies like Best Buy and start-ups like August Home (recently acquired by ASSA ABLOY) are jumping into the traditional residential security monitoring services business. Harnessing the cloud and the IoT, many of these companies are offering everything-as-a-service with convenient tie-ins to smart devices.


Traditional security providers have picked up the trend as well, changing the subscription model to a month-to-month payment plan. With this freedom comes the death of the typical security services contract.


Security Industry Best Practices:  How Can Providers Adapt to the Players?

Providers must stay on their toes to move with this market. With so many new and powerful players in the game, security providers need to add value wherever possible to enhance the consumer experience while providing the convenience and smart features they’ve come to expect. Differentiation is everything. If a security provider can offer superior services, they will stay ahead. Service is prized over price; consumers will not be as price sensitive moving forward for this reason.


Within the services themselves, we’re moving from a heavy emphasis on product sales to cloud-based services. Therefore, the shift is towards security services, not installation of monitoring or deterrent devices. Flexible providers that harness these trends will move ahead.


In fact, IST is right on top of this trend. In addition to our 20+ years of security expertise protecting people, property and data in the enterprise market, we’ve embraced the move towards cloud-based services and are up-to-the-minute on leveraging the cloud for your utmost security using your existing systems or deploying new solutions. We also stay competitive by offering affordable month-to-month subscription style plans for our customers’ convenience.


Trend 8:  Entrepreneurs Enter the Security Scene

Entrepreneurs want a piece of the security action too.


Their relentless focus on data analytics, convergence and IoT are pushing the residential security industry forward faster. It’s a win-win for both providers and consumers, although the market is tightening with these new entrants. Multi-system operators (MSOs) like AT&T, Comcast and Cox Communications upended the U.S. intrusion market from 2013 – 2015. Likewise, start-ups made their mark. In fact, IHS Markit noted that companies that were two years old or younger claimed over nine percent of global consumer video-camera market revenues in 2016, up from just six percent one year before.


Security Industry Best Practices:  How Can Providers Adapt to the Game?

The players have changed and so has the game. In addition to dealing with the challenges of shifting from hardware and project focused work to a service, maintenance and remote monitoring model, subscriber acquisition costs (SAC) are up and recurring monthly revenue (RMR) margins are down. Technology obsolescence has increased, so manufacturer and service providers are also grappling with shorter product development cycles. Companies that can keep up with these changes will come out on top in the residential security market.


Additionally, consumers are demanding interoperability among their devices and services for streamlined experiences. Companies need to work together to create interoperable standards so consumers can integrate their current security devices.


Again, IST is following this trend closely on the enterprise side. We monitor all new security products and remain manufacturer agnostic so that you get the solution that works best for your needs. We also help you integrate these updated security solutions to keep them interoperable with yours.


Our last entry in this series will explore how cyber-breaches are becoming more common for physical security, and we’ll look at how everyone in an organization needs to play an important role in mitigating these risks. IST has solutions for these and your other most pressing security concerns. To learn more, contact us here.